The Dear John Letter

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Swedish premiere March 7, 2024 at the Tempo Documentary Film Festival in Stockholm.

Follow the film on Facebook to get info about where and when!

A distressing letter on facebook is the catalyst for filmmaker Bill Watts to reunite with the friends he has avoided for more than 30 years. Dark secrets from the past are explored and a cathartic process develops as the old group of friends come to terms with the consequences of what happened to them in their teens.


Clayre O‘Brien
Frank Mair
Lawrence “Lol” Ford
Nick Feinberg
Bill Watts

Director & DOP Bill Watts
Editors Sascha Fülscher, China Åhlander & Bill Watts
Sound designers Hans Christian Arnt Torp & Claus Lynge
Composers  Lawrence Lol Ford & Svante Lodén
Colorist Maciej Sanki Sankowski
Produced by China Åhlander

In co-production with Film i Skåne
In collaboration with Bill of Sweden AB
With the financial support from The Swedish Film Institute
& The Swedish Arts Grants Committee  

International premiere still available

Characters in the Dear John Letter


The director of the film Bill Watts is an old friend of all of the characters in the film. Bill is a freelance filmmaker DoP/cameraman since 1999 and is based in Malmö, Sweden. He has edited and filmed documentaries for amongst others; Swedish national broadcasters- SVT, TV4 and TV8. Two of the feature documentaries he has filmed for other directors have been awarded with the Golden Whistle award 2018 and the New Nordic Voice Award, 2019.

Bill Watts


Bill hadn’t seen Clayre since their teens in North London before they met up to film for the first time in 2015. They grew up in the same area and got to know each other as 13 years old and hung around with the same group of close friends up until around 1981. Clayre wrote the Dear John Letter that inspired the making of the film.

Clayre O'Brien


Frank was one of Bill’s best friends during their teenage years and they have only seen each other very sporadically since the early eighties. Back in the day they rode motorbikes off-road, briefly played in a band together, smoked their first joint together and went on several holidays together with each other’s families.

Frank Mair


Nick went to the same junior school as Bill and they played football together with a bunch of other local kids who had nothing better to do. During their teenage years Bill and Nick hung around in the same group of friends who gate crashed parties and got up to all sorts of crazy stuff. Bill lost contact with Nick around 1982.

Nick Feinberg

Lol (Lawrence)

Bill got to know Lawrence who lived at a friend’s flat where a group of friends frequently hung out, when Bill was around 17yrs old. Lol who is a couple years older than Bill was always playing in different bands but they also lost contact around 1982.

Lawrence “Lol” Ford

Year of production: 2024
Duration: 99 min
Technical info: colour, 16:9, 5.1 & stereo
Subtitles: English